The unseen silver lining in Yemen's salary crisis

The unseen silver lining in Yemen's salary crisis

By Omar Mohammed

Needless to say that the increasing irregularity and now the suspension of salaries is having a severe impact on the lives of Yemeni state employees on the payroll of the Aden-based government.

However what many don't see is that the lack of income is driving people to give up on the evil (narcotic plant of) Qat, cigarettes and turning a new leaf in their daily lifestyle.

Many many friends and acquaintances of mine not able to afford the cost of Qat have replaced the Maqyal (afternoon Qat chewing sessions) with more positive ways of socializing like visiting female relatives, with fasting, memorizing Quran, reading, self-study, gardening and learning of skills.

 This phenomenon reminded me of the fact that Qat is the Yemeni people's biggest problem and timewaster. And unfortunately, our people are not able to control themselves when they have money at hand. I hope the people who have changed to the better after the suspension of salaries will electrify others to do likewise and turn the problem to an opportunity.  

Let's not forget that most of the Qat comes from Houthi-controlled regions and Houthis make billions of rials in proceedings from Qat sold in Aden, Marib, Hadhramout, Taiz and other areas.

But the formerly mentioned advantage of behavioral change and turn to more positive lifestyles at homes appears as the best sign and hope emanating from the otherwise negative situation of salary suspensions. 

Translated from Arabic.

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